Sharapova suffers defeat in Stuttgart from Kerber

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has crashed out of Stuttgart’s Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Germany, losing her grip on the world No. 2 ranking just five days after celebrating her 28th birthday.

The victor in the grueling two hour 27-minute match was home favorite, Angelique Kerber — who defeated the five-time grand slam champion 2-6 7-5 6-1.

Sharapova has dominated the tournament in recent times lifting the trophy for three consecutive seasons. The six feet, two inch-tall star — whose official Facebook page boasts more than 14 million likes — is a noted clay court expert, winning the French Open in 2012 and 2014.

“We both played very well, high-level tennis,” said Kerber, after ending Sharapova’s 13-match unbeaten run at the event.

“It felt amazing out there. The crowd was so supportive of both of us. I was a little bit tired in the second set but when I heard the crowd I was fighting until the last point — it was amazing to feel the support from all the fans here at home.

“It’s a special moment and a special tournament for me — to play at home and in front of all of my family and friends, it’s a great feeling. It’s my favorite tournament, and the best tournament for me,” the German added.

Sharapova’s defeat will see her slip down the world rankings to No. 3 below Romania’s Simona Halep and world No. 1 Serena Williams.

Kerber’s reward for victory is a quarterfinal match-up against another Russian, No.6 seed Ekaterina Makarova.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International